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Copper Technologies’ Share Transaction Raises Regulatory Eyebrows

Key Insights:

  • Copper Technologies strategically navigates US sanctions by converting shares into cryptocurrency, highlighting digital finance’s regulatory challenges.
  • Legal experts scrutinize Copper’s crypto transaction to evade sanctions, raising questions about digital currency’s role in global finance compliance.
  • Copper’s case with Mikhail Klyukin’s shares illustrates the need for legal agility in the cryptocurrency industry amid stringent international regulations.

In a recent high-profile case, Copper Technologies, a London-based cryptocurrency firm, navigated complex legal waters involving international sanctions and cryptocurrency. The case revolved around Mikhail Klyukin, a Russian banker sanctioned by the US, who sold more than £15m of shares in Copper. This transaction has drawn attention to the challenges of enforcing sanctions in the age of digital currencies.

Copper Technologies’ Strategic Move Amidst Sanctions

Copper, chaired by former chancellor Philip Hammond, faced a dilemma when Klyukin, a significant shareholder, was placed on the White House’s sanctions list due to his role at Sovcombank. 

The company’s response involved a meticulous transaction to remove Klyukin from its register. This move was not just a business decision but also a compliance strategy, considering the company’s New York subsidiary and the overarching reach of US sanctions.

The Cryptocurrency Angle: Navigating Uncharted Waters

The transaction’s core involved converting sterling into cryptocurrency, which was then transferred to Klyukin. This method aimed to circumvent the restrictions of US sanctions, particularly those against using US dollars or involving American citizens in transactions with sanctioned entities. Using cryptocurrency in this context opened Pandora’s box of regulatory and legal implications, highlighting the digital currency’s potential to complicate sanction enforcement.


Legal specialists have indicated that while Copper’s approach might not directly contravene US sanctions, it could still attract secondary sanctions. These sanctions target entities outside US jurisdiction and are seen as undermining US sanction efforts. The involvement of cryptocurrency, given the US’s strict stance on avoiding sanctions through digital channels, adds another layer of complexity to the situation.

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Copper’s Compliance Commitment

Copper has consistently asserted its compliance with all relevant laws in response to the unfolding situation. The company took a cautious approach, seeking advice from external sanctions counsel. This stance reflects the intricate balance firms in the cryptocurrency sector must maintain, navigating between innovation and stringent international regulatory frameworks.

This case is emblematic of the broader challenges and risks confronting the cryptocurrency industry in international finance and compliance. As governments intensify their scrutiny of digital currency transactions for potential sanction violations, firms like Copper find themselves at the forefront of a regulatory battleground. This incident is a bellwether for the industry, signaling the importance of legal diligence and adaptability in a world where financial and digital realms increasingly intersect.

Looking Ahead: A Regulatory Tightrope

The incident with Copper Technologies and Mikhail Klyukin’s share sale underscores the growing complexity at the intersection of cryptocurrency, international finance, and legal compliance. It is a cautionary tale for the industry, illustrating businesses’ nuanced challenges in this evolving landscape. 

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The case highlights the importance of proactive legal strategies and the need for continuous adaptation to global regulatory changes. As the world of finance continues to evolve with the advent of digital currencies, similar scenarios are likely to emerge, testing the resilience and ingenuity of businesses in this sector.

Copper Technologies’ handling of the share sale involving Mikhail Klyukin is a significant example of the intricate interplay between cryptocurrency and international sanctions. It underscores the need for heightened vigilance, legal expertise, and adaptability in today’s rapidly evolving financial world. 

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Curtis Dye

Curtis is a cryptocurrency news and analytics author with a focus on DeFi, BLockchain, CeFi, NFTs etc. He has publication skills such as SEO optimization, Wordpress, Surfer tools and aids his viewers with insights on the volatile crypto industry.

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